RISI Outlines Paper Pricing Changes

"Pulp & Paper Week" magazine also will host "OBM" pricing starting in October.

August 24, 2012
Recycling Today Staff

Forest products information and media company RISI Inc., Bedford, Mass., has announced that its Pulp & Paper Week publication will serve as the home of Official Board Markets (OBM) paper stock prices starting Oct. 5, 2012.

According to Todd Petracek, RISI vice president of news and prices, RISI’s acquisition of OBM in May of 2012 was followed by discussions with readers and internal research to determine the best way to combine the long-time pricing models offered by both Pulp & Paper Week (known as PPI pricing) and OBM (also known as The Yellow Sheet).
We are going to integrate OBM into Pulp & Paper Week,” says Petracek, who indicates subscribers of both publications will receive the newly combined periodical. “There will be a transition period for three months, October through December, when readers will see one page with PPI prices and one page with the OBM prices.”
This carries the possibility of some grades having two different prices during this time frame, but Petracek says RISI determined it was important to provide continuity to readers who may have contracts pegged to either of the two published prices. “
Starting Jan. 5, 2013, prices will be consolidated, says Petracek. “Roughly, for the bulk grades we will be keeping the OBM prices [and regional breakdowns], while the PPI pricing stays in place for the high grades and pulp substitutes,” he comments. “We’ve done that to try to minimize the disruptions, since OBM is used much more heavily on the bulk grades for contracts.”
Price gathering methodologies will remain similar, says Petracek, though the merger will allow RISI to provide additional staffing to during that process. “We now have an editorial team that can make more contacts and extract more data out of the market.”
In terms of timing, Petracek says starting in October 2012 prices will be released on the fifth of each month. PPI pricing had traditionally been distributed on the 10th of each month, while OBM pricing has been distributed on the Wednesday before the first Saturday of the month.
Petracek says recovered paper buyers and sellers with questions about the changes can find more information at www.risi.com/obmchanges.